Alaska's SB 45 Would Tax Lifesaving Products, Cost Lives

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Posted by Tim Andrews on Friday, February 19th, 2021, 1:37 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform today submitted testimony in opposition to Alaska Senate Bill 45 which bans the use of flavors in life-saving reduced risk tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes.

ATR State Affairs Manager, Ben Rajadurai, wrote: “I urge you to reject Senate Bill 45, misguided legislation that would slap taxes on lifesaving reduced risk tobacco alternatives such as electronic cigarettes. If enacted, this anti-science bill would have a disastrous impact on businesses and public health throughout the state and lead to an increase in tobacco-related deaths.

Rajadurai noted the growing body of research showing vapor products are an effective harm reduction tool for adults looking to quit smoking and argued that taxes on these would increase smoking rates. Extrapolating from a large-scale analysis by the US’s leading cancer researchers and coordinated by Georgetown University Medical Centre, if a majority of smokers in the state of Alaska made the switch to vaping, it would save over 13,000 lives.

HB 45 would also seek to ban remote and online sales. Rajadurai noted that these bans “would significantly reduce one’s access to these lifesaving products should they reside in rural and remote areas of the state. If enacted, these persons, often in lower socioeconomic demographics and at the highest risk of smoking related mortality, would have no choice but to continue smoking combustible tobacco. Small increases in projected revenue should never come at the expense of human lives."

The full testimony can be read here.

Photo Credit: Dalem

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